A city police officer for 24 years, Moreno blames the mayor and top public safety leaders for problems with the police.By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A retired Pittsburgh police officer says he is challenging Mayor Bill Peduto for the Democratic nomination for mayor in the May primary.

In an interview with KDKA political editor Jon Delano, Tony Moreno says Peduto has failed as mayor and does not deserve a third term.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

In his bid for a third term, Peduto seems to be attracting lots of challengers. One says the mayor is not liberal enough. Now another, a retired police detective, says the mayor is weak on public safety.

“What we have is a mayor who has never, never had any kind of pro thoughts of the police from the time he became a councilperson. I know he’s always said we need less police,” Moreno said Friday. “We need the police.”

A city police officer for 24 years, Moreno — who says he’s of Mexican, Native American and Scots-Irish descent — blames the mayor and top public safety leaders for problems with the police. He says he can fix the problems.

“There is no police accountability, and that’s from the leadership standpoint. Police officers just do what they’re told,” says Moreno.

“That is something I will bring – more transparency, more accountability. I worked in this. I know how it has to operate, so we can all be respected and can show a little empathy for our city. Our citizens are screaming for help, and we need to be there for them,” he added.

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While one candidate, Pa. Rep. Ed Gainey, says he’s to the left of the mayor, Moreno stakes out a middle ground.

Delano: Do you consider yourself more moderate than the mayor on issues?

Moreno: Absolutely, I would be more moderate. But I look at everything individually.

KDKA asked Moreno if he worries that multiple candidates will split the anti-Peduto vote in the May 18 Democratic primary.

“I happen to see it as proof the mayor is in big trouble. He knows he’s done the city of Pittsburgh wrong. He’s treated us horribly.”

Moreno, who lives in Brighton Heights with his wife, sees one key to the future.

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“It’s neighborhoods first,” Moreno said. “If we take care of ourselves and build out from our neighborhoods, everything else will come in line better.”